By Jerry Wein
Lost in all the sound and fury about who the Sixers could get if they trade crybaby Ben Simmons is the possibility that he could somehow return to the team this year and help the team close the 2 1/2-game gap with the first place Miami Heat and maybe win the East and the NBA title.
Per NBA veteran report Marc Stein via his Substack, the Sixers are still trying to do so:
If Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey finds a deal he likes for Ben Simmons in the next 13 days, he will surprise an overwhelming majority of his peers.
I can’t find a team out there these days that believes Morey is bluffing about keeping Simmons past the deadline to
A) first make what sounds to outsiders as a rather hopeless attempt to convince Simmons to rejoin the team for a playoff drive and
B) more importantly retain Simmons to offer him as the centerpiece of offseason trade pitches for the likes of Portland’s Damian Lillard, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and, of course, Brooklyn’s James Harden.